Even though we have 206 bones in our bodies, breaking just one is enough to bring our daily lives to a standstill. A partial or complete break in a bone is termed as a fracture. While minor fractures can heal in as little as 6 weeks major fractures can take 3-4 months to heal properly. In cases of complex fractures, you may need physical therapy even after this time period to get back complete mobility. Hence patience is essential when a fracture is healing, but here are a few tips on how to speed up the process.
- Increase your protein intake: Proteins are essential for the healing and repairing of damage to bones and tissues. Proteins also give the bone structure its strength, Hence, depriving the body of adequate protein will result in the formation of soft bones rather than hard, strong bones. This prevents a bone from fracturing in the same place again.
- Have a diet rich in antioxidants: Inflammation is one of the first symptoms of a fracture. This inflammation can continue for many days after the incident and until the inflammation reduces, healing cannot take place properly. Antioxidants help rid toxins from the body and help reduce inflammation thereby initiating the healing process. Antioxidants can also help relieve pain.
- Exercise: While you must take care not to apply too much pressure on the affected area it is essential to move the limb as much as possible. Being active promotes blood flow and in this way speeds up the healing process.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine: In most cases, a doctor will prescribe pain relievers to deal with the pain of a fracture. Under no circumstances should you consume alcohol when taking these medications. Even after the antibiotic course is over it is a good idea to abstain from alcohol as this can increase inflammation. Similarly, caffeine and all caffeinated products should also be avoided as they contain compounds that can prevent calcium from being absorbed.
- Have an alkaline diet: Having an alkaline diet with lots of fruits and vegetables helps stabilise the pH levels of the body and conserves minerals and proteins needed to build strong bones. In this way, it creates the optimal environment for healing. An alkaline diet also increases the production of growth hormones and other growth factors like IGF insulin in the body. These are crucial to speeding up the healing process and aid in new bone formation. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an orthopedist.